The Konformist

January 2002

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Jaye C. Beldo



*Please note: The McHajj series you are about to read came to me directly via a series of disturbing dreams, dreams which continue to haunt me at present. These dreams, more like interminable nightmares, have resulted from life long exposure to advertising in the relentlessly predatory, capitalistic society that I'm haphazardly posited in. In order to deal with the severe psychological trauma such exposure has caused me, I have translated what my unconscious mind has directly conveyed to me into the story below. It is the only way I know how to cope with the constant trespassing into my psyche by the corporate powers which loom about in a most menacing and merciless fashion. Thank you for understanding my dilemma. BTW: I am currently starting a twelve step support group for those who may believe that they are victims of a similar kind of corporate psychological terrorism. I will provide more information in the near future...if there is one. Thank you!



Part I


Ronald McDonald saunters through the range country all alone, exiled from Playland. He comes upon the Marlboro Men, all maudlin, yet steadfast, sitting around a campfire. He tries clowning but cannot even eke one single grin. One offers him a smoke. Ronald reciprocates with Big Macs for all. They eat hamburgers and smoke, staring into the embers. Ronald lets out a conciliatory chuckle, but the others do not respond.

The next day, they mount the steeds and set out. In the course of their round-up, they encounter Joe Camel, the Pillsbury Doughboy, Colonel Saunders, California Raisins, the Hamburger Helper Hand, Charlie Tuna, Palmolive Madge, The Tidy Bowl Man, Mr. Clean and other iconomorphic cuties traversing the desert in search of greener test markets. All caravan across the wastes, drawn towards a mirage of the eternal milk pour shot. The posse grows in legion. They tour cancer wards, deforested tracts in South America, fished out oceans, tobacco farms with spent soil and carked farmers. They pass out campaign pamphlets to Jivaro Indians and work their way down to Tierra Del Fuego. A vote is to be cast for the next Messiah, since the first one (anthropos) cannot return, cannot get his sandaled foot or staff into Ogilvy's Madison Avenue door.

A vote is cast. Ronald wins. The Golden Arches of Triumph remain.


The division works its way towards Mecca. Upon reaching the ka'ba, Ronald ventures an entrance. With a grin he greets the twelfth Imam who patiently engraves upon a piece of plutonium the size and shape of a bowling ball. The Imam reads aloud what he has inscribed on Allah's favorite alloy:

In the Name of God, the Merciful, the Compassionate,

Praise belongs to God, the Lord of all Being,

the all merciful, the All-compassionate

the Master of the Day of Doom.


A television in the North West corner runs a Prime Time Shi'ite Evangelist special. Oppenheimer makes a guest appearance. He quotes the Bhagavad Gita. The t.v. casts a debile numinosity, reminiscent of decaying isotopes over the interior of the ka'ba. The splendor of a thousand suns, however, lay dormant in the Imam's plutonium. Ronald offers the Imam a Big Mac, but is solemnly declined as the final filigrees are added to the stanza. Mr. McDonald shrugs his shoulders, skips over to the Southeast corner, kisses the black stone and savors its meteoric flavor. A tongue emerges from the stone. The stone tries to sing Allah's glory but Ronald begins to French kiss the stone. Allah's eyes open but he cannot recognize who is kissing him. Ronald tears his wig away and smears the make up off his face. The clown introduces himself to Allah and demands a sacrifice of every child watching Saturday morning cartoons in America. Cheers can be heard from as far away as Algiers. Outside, the Marlboro men gallop their horses around the Ka'ba, tossing cartons of cigarettes to the pilgrims, while Van Allen asteroids with angel wings hover above like Hummingbirds, forming a double helix pattern.


Joint-Chiefs-of-Staff in the War room at the Pentagon. A satellite picks up the action over in Mecca. All chiefs ponder the implications. 'Flexible Response' is briefly discussed.


While Ronald and Allah make out, the Imam carefully places the scripted ball into a missile's warhead compartment concealed directly beneath the center of the ka'ba. Ronald just laughs, fluffs his wig out and puts it back on. He fixes his make up and steps outside. It dawns on him that he forgot to takes his clown shoes off upon entering. But no one outside notices his disrespect. His secret would not be betrayed. The pilgrims fervently, ecstatically kiss the Pillsbury Doughboy, the Hamburger Helper hand, and the California Raisins. Joe Camel lets them take turns riding on his back. He circumambulates the ka'ba seven times. The Imam steps outside and climbs up the minaret and sings to the sky and all activity below stops. He holds in his hand the remote control launch button. Palmolive Madge noticed that the cuticles of the Middle Beast were hardened.


The legion works its way over the Great Wall of China and marches to the center of Tienanmen Square. All the cowboys, clowns, fuzzy little denizens of the west sit in front of a giant statue of Mao. Ronald runs his tongue over the plinth. It too tastes meteoric. Soon refugees from slave labor camps, both Tibetan and Chinese, clutching onto Mickey Mouse dolls are paraded past the icons. Ronald feels something. Yet his make-up won't betray his sorrow. The Pillsbury Doughboy deflates a little. The four fingered Hamburger Helper Hand offers to help but cannot grasp the situation. The Marlboro Men hand out cigarettes to the refugees but they are refused. All wait.


to be continued

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